Local Energy Providers Help Michiganders Keep Their Cool

With temperatures climbing, there’s no denying summer has arrived in Michigan.

Most of us don’t think about the need for energy assistance during the summer, but that need doesn’t evaporate when the weather warms up. Many low-income Michigan households that need help staying warm in the winter also need help staying cool in the summer. And just like in the winter, it can be a matter of life and death.

At particular risk are young children, the elderly, and the sick, who often have difficulty regulating their body temperature. Extreme heat leads quickly to dehydration and illness, and keeping the air conditioning going can be costly.

Fortunately, Michigan’s local energy providers have several ways in which they work with consumers, especially those in low-income households, to help manage their monthly energy bills and meet their immediate energy needs.

Keeping Costs in Check

Michigan’s energy providers work hard to keep things cool for all Michiganders in the summer while maintaining affordability for low-income households.

  1. Budget Plans. Both DTE Energy and Consumers Energy offer the option of budget plans for all consumers to prevent cost spikes during winter’s cold and summer’s heat. Based on past usage, providers estimate future usage and spread the cost evenly over 11 months, and then adjust accordingly for the difference in the twelfth month.
  1. Weatherization. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers weatherization assistance for low-income Michiganders. Free energy audits and upgrades, including insulation and weather stripping, can help improve efficiency and keep families cool while keeping the energy bills affordable.
  1. Low-Income Assistance Plans. For Michiganders who fall at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, Michigan’s energy providers have plans available that protect low-income households from shut-offs year round.

    1. Under DTE Energy’s Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP), qualified households can not only take advantage of a budget plan, but can get assistance with overdue balances as well as education on self-sufficiency.
    2. Consumers Energy also offers year-round shut-off protection for qualified customers. They have several plans to serve an array of households, based on such factors as income, emergency aid, military service, and age (65+).

Summer Safety for All

Michigan’s energy providers are committed to reliable energy for all Michiganders all year long. Helping to keep vulnerable citizens cool in summer’s heat is an important part of that mission.

You can do your part by checking in on your neighbors—especially if they include younger children, low-income families, or seniors. You can also participate in programs offered by local energy providers that enable consumers to either “round up” their energy bills and contribute small additional amounts to energy assistance for Michiganders in need or simply donate directly to a specific household’s energy bills.

The need for energy assistance isn’t just an issue in the winter—it’s something we should think about all year long. With the help of local energy providers and concerned consumers, we can ensure all Michiganders are able to meet their energy needs without breaking their budgets.